At Peace

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Continuous Good Deeds

The second half

The first half of Ramadhan has gone. We are in the second half. In football, the manager would change tactic, swap players in order to increase the chance of scoring goal. So far, what have we achieved in Ramadhan? What is our goal for the rest of Ramadhan? Do we continue as what we were doing in the first half?

Even in tarawikh, people start making du'a in qunut in the second half to mark the intense phase we are heading. In the next few days, it will be more intense when the search of Lailatul Qadr begins. And at the end, we celebrate with Eid after a month of searching, practising and refraining all sorts of things. Can we continue the act of optional prayers after Isha'. Are we able to close the night with Witr prayer prior to sleep in non-Ramadhan month? Those who manage to cut down their time on the internet and tv, will they be able to continue?

Islam does not burden its followers if they are not able to. Who would want to be hungry the whole day without eating or drinking? That is probably why non-muslim has difficulty understanding why do we need to fast. It just shows that we as muslims are capable of going the whole day without food and drink. We are strong. People might say it is good for health etc even though scientifically it has not been proven (as far as I know), and of course we realise that Allah knows what is best for us. But most importantly we are fasting for Allah, to show that whatever He wants us to do (proven from Quran and Hadith), we will do it. That is what muslim means - submission.

Every deed of the child of Adam is for him except fasting. It is for Me and I shall reward it. The breath of the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasing to Allah than the perfume of musk. (Bukhari)


Not fasting

With our deeds being multiplied in Ramadhan, for some who has to face a phase of not fasting, either because of sickness, travelling, pregnancy or having menses - some of them become afraid and anxious that they might miss the oppurtunity of ibadat in Ramadhan. Subhanallah. If we are in their place, will we feel the same? Or would we rejoice the chance of not fasting (and praying). They are afraid when they hear the hadith:

Truly is lost whoever hears my name and does not invoke blessings on me; truly is lost whoever catches Ramadan and he misses the chance to get his sins forgiven; truly is lost whoever catches his parents in their lives until they become old, and yet he misses to attain Paradise (through honoring and taking care of them. (Al-Tirmidhi)

They are afraid that their deeds are not enough and they need the extra days that they couldn't fast to make up for it. However, Allah is All-Knowing. First of all, it is allowed not to fast for people who fit the criteria. There is no sin. And if they are sabr, then definitely there will be reward for them. We all know that merely wishing to do good deeds will be rewarded already, even without actually doing the deeds.

It is a natural fact that all daughters of Adam will have menses. Having menses during Ramadhan is not a sign of God hating you. Having menses at any time, even during the hajj still does not mean anything. This is very contrary to the belief that if you have your menses while doing hajj, your hajj is not complete and people were intimidated because of what God has given them (menses). It goes the same with any other affliction that happens. How do we know whether it is bala' or a test for muslim? We don't know BUT we know how to face it - which is with sabar and perseverence and that will definitely be rewarded. Even Aishah r.a got her menses while doing hajj - does that mean Allah hates her? Of course not!

Aisha said, "We set out with the sole intention of performing Hajj and when we reached Sarif, (a place six miles from Mecca) I got my menses. Allah's Apostle came to me while I was weeping. He said 'What is the matter with you? Have you got your menses?' I replied, 'Yes.' He said, 'This is a thing which Allah has ordained for the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do with the exception of the Taw-af (Circumambulation) round the Ka'ba." 'Aisha added, "Allah's Apostle sacrificed cows on behalf of his wives. (Bukhari)

Good News

The good news for those who cannot fast for valid reason (eg: sickness), Allah will continue to record for them the good deeds that he was forced to stop. Isn't that interesting? All the terawih and quran that we read, the good manners that we display - all will continue to become ours even during the time we could not do them. Some scholar include menses as well.

A traveler's or sick person's deeds are recorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well. (Bukhari)

When a servant who is upon a good worship practice becomes sick, the angel who is appointed to record his deeds is told, "Record for him the equivalent of his deeds when he was free (from illness) - until I free him (from it) or bring him to Me (by death). (Ahmad - sahih)

Other ways

Even if one is in the opinion that the hadith did not include menstruation women, there are other deeds that they can do. They may cook for the family who are fasting, and the same reward will be written for her.

Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward. (Al-Tirmidhi- sahih)

Some scholars give verdict (fatwa) that menstruated women cannot do solat, fasting and tawaf. However for other ibadah like entering mosque, reading the quran and touching the quran, they differ. Those who say that women can read and touch the quran quoted that there is no strong evidence of prohibition and quoted a letter to the Hercules (who was kafir) which contains ayat from Quran, and the above hadith by Aishah that she was not allowed to do tawaf (and solat), but yes for everything else. These are the opinions of Ibn Abbas, Saudi Ulama', Albani, Sayyid Saabiq (fiqh sunnah).

Even if we do not accept this fatwa, the menstruating women are still allowed to say zikr and make dua. And don't forget, small little deeds like cooking, smiling, looking after family will be multiplied in Ramadhan. Allah knows best.



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